I know that new photographers struggle with camera settings, so I decided to tell something about my typical settings. To begin with, I suggest that you get a camera that has full manual settings. This can be what ever, such as mine Canon 60D DSLR. This way you have full control over the exposure in difficult constantly altering lightning situations.

The next crucial thing is to get fast lens, meaning that it should have as wide aperture as possible. I have Tamron 17-50 2.8 as my video lens, but when I’m shooting photos, I try to use Sigma 30 or 50 mm lenses, that have the widest aperture of 1.4. The wider (smaller the number) the aperture is, the more light will reach the sensor.

So pick up your best full manual camera and your widest lens when you go to shoot gigs.

The first thing to do is to set the aperture to its widest value. Here are some examples that I’ve used.

40-camera-settings-music-photography

40-camera-wide-aperture

40-what-camera-settings-music

As you can guess, the first was shot with my Tamron (aperture 2.8) and the two others were shot with Sigma 1.4 lenses.

The next step is to set shutter speed at least below 1/100 sec. The faster the shutter speed, the less you get movement blur and your photos look sharper. Your camera might show the value of shutter speed without “1/”, so in that case aim for shutter speeds 100 and up. For example, I have used shutter speeds 1/160 and 1/200 on these settings:

40-camera-settings-concert

40-camrea-settings-music-shutter

The last thing is to raise ISO. Take a look at your live view screen, and set your ISO so that the image is bright but not overexposed. Don’t be scared to use even very high ISOs, as you can always reduce the noise in Lightroom. Many people say that Canon 600D/60D look awful on ISOs over 800, but I tend to use ISOs up from 3200 to 6400 when needed. Here are some settings that I’ve used, the latter is shot with Samyang 8 mm so it has no aperture info.

40-camera-settings-low-light

40-camera-settings-manual

As you shoot enough, you will learn how to adjust the balance between shutter speed and ISO. You should definitely try to use as low ISO as possible, since that gives you the best detail and cleanest image. At the same time you should end up with as little amount of motion blur as possible, which depends only on the shutter speed.

If the download link doesn’t work, use CTRL+click and select Save As…


I am a rock photographer (camera owner) from Helsinki, Finland. I play guitar in pop punk band MadCraft and started rock photography by shooting photos of bands that we played with. As I noticed that there aren't many music concert photography focused Lightroom presets around, I decided to share the ones that I create during my editing. Presets can be used as they are or they can be used as a starting point, so they are suitable for beginners and more advanced music photographers. If you'd like to support my work, check out the Buy Presets section! From there you can buy preset packs, which will give you a bit easier access to my presets.

Leave a Reply

*

*